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News
A young mother in Rwanda cuddles her newborn with skin-to-skin contact, wrapped with the Infant Warmer mat. (Credit: Anne Hansen, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital. Photo taken July, 2019 in Butaro Hospital, Rwanda, with informed consent.)
April 30th 2021
Newborn babies, particularly those born under-weight or preterm, are susceptible to hypothermia, since newborns are not yet able to maintain their own body heat. Hypothermia is recognized to be a significant contributor to newborn disease and death, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization and public health leaders have recommended best practices to prevent hypothermia in newborns. These include skin-to-skin contact with the mother, and if available, a... Read More
Sitka, Alaska: One of the 11 remote and island communities selected for DOE's Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project
April 27th 2021
Remote and island communities face high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructures, and are at increased risk of natural disasters and climate change impacts. Sustainable solutions that emphasize holistic energy planning are of paramount importance, yet advancing energy transition plans for these small communities is often difficult due to limited resources or capacity. The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s)... Read More
Ivan Jayapurna, a UC Berkeley materials science and engineering graduate student, preparing a sample film of a new biodegradable plastic. (Credit: Adam Lau/UC Berkeley)
April 21st 2021
Despite our efforts to sort and recycle, less than 9% of plastic gets recycled in the U.S., and most ends up in landfill or the environment. Biodegradable plastic bags and containers could help, but if they’re not properly sorted, they can contaminate otherwise recyclable #1 and #2 plastics. What’s... Read More
Projected versus actual outcomes for the U.S. power sector. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)
April 19th 2021
Concerns about climate change are driving a growing number of states, utilities, and corporations to set the goal of zeroing out power-sector carbon emissions. To date 17 states plus Washington, D.C. and... Read More
Hanna Breunig
April 16th 2021
A Q&A with Berkeley Lab researcher Hanna Breunig on technoeconomic analysis, and how she uses it to make negative emissions technologies more competitive For new energy technologies, the time elapsed from when a breakthrough is made in a laboratory setting until when it is validated, scaled up, piloted, and then widely commercialized can be years or even decades. But in the race to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate warming,... Read More
Highway and wind turbines in Tamil Nadu, India. India has ambitious scale-up plans for renewable energy over the next decade. (Credit: iStock)
April 1st 2021
India has set ambitious targets for renewable power, with plans to quintuple its current wind and solar energy capacity by 2030. The country’s transition away from fossil fuels will have a significant impact on global climate efforts, since it is the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter – although its per capita emissions are below the global average. A new study recently... Read More
March 18th 2021
Property taxes paid by wind energy projects are boosting school district revenues across the country. School districts are spending the new funds on capital improvements rather than putting them into classroom expenses, resulting in no change in academic outcomes, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Connecticut, Amherst College, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Wind energy has grown... Read More
Electric long-haul trucks and fast-charging infrastructure offer a way towards zero-emissions commercial trucks. (Credit: Chesky_W/iStock)
March 17th 2021
When it comes to electric vehicles, particularly for heavy-duty trucks, the limitations of battery technology are often seen as the main barrier to widespread adoption. However, a new analysis concludes that it’s the lack of appropriate policies around adoption incentives, charging infrastructure, and electricity pricing that prevents widespread electrification of commercial trucking fleets. Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence... Read More
BEST Center speakers clockwise from top left: Peter Crabtree, Ted Wilinski, Robert Nirenberg, Larry Chang and Mary Ann Piette
February 8th 2021
More than 300 people attended the 2021 Annual Institute conference, with this year’s event focused on sustaining healthy and energy efficient buildings through technician education.  Key presentations were given by Lawrence Berkeley National Labortaory (Berkeley Lab) staff, including Mary Ann Piette, pictured, Division Director of Building Technology... Read More
Residue from cigarettes can linger on indoor surfaces for years and even decades. (Credit: iStockphoto)
January 14th 2021
In 10 years of studying thirdhand smoke, which is the toxic cigarette residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces for months or years, Berkeley Lab scientist Hugo Destaillats said the most frequent question he hears from the public is how to remediate property where a smoker once lived. Remediation companies frequently use ozone generators to eliminate odors from mold, tobacco, and fire damage, blasting homes with high levels of ozone.... Read More
Rachel Slaybaugh
January 7th 2021
The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has named Rachel Slaybaugh, associate professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, to lead Berkeley Lab’s Cyclotron Road Division. The announcement follows an international search. Until recently, Slaybaugh served as a program director at DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), whose mission is to... Read More
A newborn infant receives supplemental warming with the Infant Warmer ("Dream Warmer") while receiving skin-to-skin contact with the mother in this 2020 photo. Image courtesy Global Newborn Solutions™
October 23rd 2020
An infant-warming device developed by two researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) was recently recognized with an honorable mention in the 2020 Patents for Humanity awards. The Warming Indicator, a phase-change material temperature indicator, is an addition to the Infant Warmer that improves the latter’s functionality and safety. The Infant Warmer is a low-cost, convenient, re-usable, and non... Read More
Lynn Price, senior advisor for the Lab's International Energy Analysis Department and the China Energy Group
October 20th 2020
Seven researchers in the Energy Technologies Area have recently been honored with prestigious Director's Awards at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The awards program recognizes Lab employees' accomplishments and commitment to excellence in support of the Lab's mission and strategic goals. Lab-wide, three staff members received Lifetime Achievement Awards, and another 34 employees received awards across different categories... Read More
Lynn Price, senior advisor for the Lab's International Energy Analysis Department and the China Energy Group
October 20th 2020
Seven researchers in the Energy Technologies Area have recently been honored with prestigious Director's Awards at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The awards program recognizes Lab employees' accomplishments and commitment to excellence in support of the Lab's mission and strategic goals. Lab-wide, three staff members received Lifetime Achievement Awards, and another 34 employees received awards across different categories... Read More
Berkeley Lab scientist Adam Weber (left) and postdoc Jessica Luo look at experimental data for membrane conductivity in a fuel cell fabrication lab. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)
October 12th 2020
Hydrogen fuel cells are on the rise: Germany has rolled out hydrogen-powered trains, the San Francisco Bay Area will soon see the nation’s first hydrogen fuel cell ferry, and sales of fuel-cell vehicles are up globally. It’s a technology with the potential to provide a variety of clean energy options, especially in transportation. Now the Department of Energy has announced several major investments to take hydrogen fuel cells to the next level,... Read More
October 2nd 2020
The Energy Technologies Area (ETA) won three R&D 100 awards in the areas of higher energy efficiency in buildings, making lithium batteries safer and development of an innovative tool; all together the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) took home seven awards. For more than 50 years, the annual R&D 100 Awards have recognized 100 technologies of the past year deemed most innovative and disruptive... Read More
Residential retrofit work on a ceiling. Photo credit: Wen Lee, Berkeley Lab
September 17th 2020
Air sealing and insulation, which are common elements of energy efficiency upgrade packages, come with a bonus: In addition to saving energy, they almost always cut dampness and mold. This latest research comes from a new publication from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). However, the paper also found that levels of some indoor air pollutants increased when ventilation was not added. Researchers led... Read More
Nihar Shah is recognized worldwide for his expertise in the energy-efficiency of air conditioners and working toward providing affordable cooling for all. Here, he poses with his award from K-CEP. Credit: Thor Swift, Berkeley Lab
September 10th 2020
Two researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been recognized by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP). The awards for Nihar Shah and Won Young Park honor their work on improving the energy efficiency of cooling systems and evaluating the benefits of those improvements. Shah, Presidential Director of Berkeley Lab’s Global Cooling Efficiency Program,... Read More
August 18th 2020
Despite the precarious future emissions outlook, China’s current climate targets are within reach, with multiple studies mapping out scenarios to achieve high penetrations of renewables in the coming decades. But as a... Read More
A view of the San Francisco Bay Area from Berkeley Lab during the 2018 Camp fire (left) and three weeks prior. The graphs show PM2.5 concentrations (microgram per cubic meter), with the x-axis as measured by the regulatory monitor in downtown Berkeley and the y-axis as measured by PurpleAir monitors. On the good air day, the numbers were roughly the same. However, when wildfire smoke was present the PurpleAir readings were consistently far higher than the regulatory monitor’s. (Photo credit: Kelly J. Owen/B
August 18th 2020
Over the last few years of frequent and intense wildfire seasons, many parts of the U.S. have experienced hazardous air quality for days on end. At the same time a number of low-cost air quality monitors have come on the market, allowing consumers to check the pollutant levels in their own homes and neighborhoods. So, air quality scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) wanted to know: are these low-cost monitors any... Read More
Berkeley Lab scientist Iain Walker (Credit: Thor Swift/Berkeley Lab)
August 11th 2020
Heat waves are becoming a more regular occurrence across the country. Iain Walker, Leader of the Residential Building Systems Group at Berkeley Lab, has suggestions for how to weather them. Walker has more than 20 years’ experience as a... Read More
Thermal mud pots at Controlled Thermal Resources’ project site at the Salton Sea. (Courtesy CTR)
August 6th 2020
Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of the most valuable metals from the... Read More
August 5th 2020
As the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S. rises, the transportation sector will put additional pressure on the power grid. California expects more than 50% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which includes battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV, in new vehicle sales by 2030 to achieve statewide emission and pollution reduction goals. This added pressure on the grid could be very disruptive, but transportation and power grid... Read More
August 5th 2020
Kristin Persson, a senior faculty scientist in the Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and director of the... Read More
July 9th 2020
Release of "beta" Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) announced the release of the beta Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) (better.lbl.gov/) to the public today. The easy-to-use, open-source BETTER tool allows building owners and managers to rapidly... Read More
May 27th 2020
Falling prices for renewable energy and storage could help China get more than half its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 at lower costs, according to a new analysis from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab), the University of California, Berkeley and Stony Brook University.  The cost of energy from solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage have dropped as much as 85% over the past decade... Read More
May 13th 2020

FLEXLAB®, the world’s most advanced building simulator and testbed, will be used to simulate office and school heating, ventilation, and air conditioning configurations. (Credit: Berkeley Lab) As society prepares to reopen indoor spaces and ease back into some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is launching a study... Read More
May 13th 2020
Wind plant performance declines due to plant age in the United States can be partially managed and is influenced by policy, according to a recent study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The U.S. is currently the second-largest wind power market globally – supplying 7.3% of the nation’s electricity generation in 2019 – yet this is the first research effort to evaluate the impact of plant age on... Read More
May 8th 2020
Successfully implementing strategic policies in combination with technological innovation is the catalyst needed to decarbonize global industry by 2070, according to a new publication that includes a “blueprint for action”, written by a consortium of researchers including the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The manufacturing and industrial sectors have enormous potential to contribute to energy... Read More
April 6th 2020
Biofuels are an important part of the broader strategy to replace petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that we use today. However, biofuels have so far not reached cost parity with conventional petroleum fuels. One strategy to make biofuels more competitive is to make plants do some of the work themselves. Scientists can engineer plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or bioproducts, as they grow. Then the bioproducts can be ... Read More
April 1st 2020
Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts. Now an international team of scientists has published a new study proposing an optimization methodology for designing climate-resilient energy... Read More

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